Concerning Addiction, What Is The Leading Cause Of Relapse

Recovering from addiction is best viewed as a journey, not a destination. Like all journeys, you may hit a snag once in a while. The same happens in recovery when you relapse as it’s common for those in addiction recovery to relapse at least once.

That’s why at Impact Outpatient Program relapse prevention is a major part of our treatment programs whether you’re in the outpatient program or the intensive outpatient program. We focus on helping our clients understand what triggers their relapse and work with them to come up with a plan to manage or avoid those triggers.

Here are 3 major causes of relapse:


Stress is a leading cause of relapse because those struggling with addiction often turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Stress can be caused by anything in your life from your job or financial situation to your relationships. While it might not be practical to eliminate stress from your life, you can learn to manage stressful situations by making changes to your lifestyle and priorities. Practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques can also help.

Physical and environmental triggers

These include people, places, and things that trigger an urge to drink or use drugs. These may be people you used to drink or get high with places that remind you of your addiction or even objects associated with substance abuse. To manage these triggers, it’s helpful to prepare for these situations ahead of time and to have an appropriate response ready. It may also help to have healthy activities to participate in as well as a strong support system.

Uncomfortable or negative emotions

It’s common for those battling addiction to reach for alcohol or drugs to escape negative or uncomfortable feelings. However, instead of giving in to despair, realize that there’s nothing wrong with such feelings. Exploring these emotions to uncover their root causes can help you gain valuable insight about yourself. Instead of avoiding or bottling up these feelings, try documenting them in a journal or expressing them in healthy ways such as through art or music.

We Can Help

Relapse is a common part of recovery and it isn’t a sign that you’ve failed. Think of it as an indication that more needs to be done. If you’re worried that you or a loved one may be on the path to relapse, the Impact Outpatient Program can help. We have trained professionals who can help you recognize and manage your triggers and guide you back to the right path. We give clients the option of in-person or telemedicine sessions so that they can easily fit addiction treatment into their lives. We have also simplified our admissions process so that after an initial assessment, you can enter treatment within 24 hours. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help.

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Impact Outpatient Program offers treatment for a variety of addictions and co-ocurring disorders at our Louisville area outpatient drug rehab center.
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